Amendment 31

Part of Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - Committee (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords am 5:15 pm ar 14 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green 5:15, 14 Chwefror 2024

I rise with great humbleness to intervene at this point. I was planning to refer to the noble Baroness, Lady Chakrabarti. I know that she has a book coming out shortly, Human Rights: The Case for the Defence. After listening to the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy, I feel that possibly one of the two noble Baronesses should write a book “Courts and the Law: The Case for the Defence” because it seems to have been clearly identified that that is something we need. The point I want to make about the title of the noble Baroness’s book—she has kindly given me a copy, and I have not had time to read it yet, but I will —is how tragic it is that we feel as if we have to make a case for the defence of human rights. That is the place we are in now. That explains why I chose to attach my name to the notice of our intention to oppose the Clause 3 standing part of the Bill, as did the noble Lord, Lord German, the noble Viscount, Lord Hailsham, and the noble Baroness, Lady Lister.

I think it is worth going back to the title of this clause:

“Disapplication of the Human Rights Act 1998”.

I fully understand that other amendments in this group are trying to make this less bad, but, following what the noble Viscount, Lord Hailsham, said, I feel that crying out in opposition to any disapplication of human rights is where I have to be. It is the only place that I feel that I can be. This picks up points made by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford that human rights have to be universal. I was looking at one of the main United Nations websites, which defines human rights as

“rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status”.

If we take human rights away from some people, it does not affect just those people; it makes all of us far poorer and far more vulnerable.